After a huge shake-up that was our new matchmaking system we decided to keep things tamer this time. 2.7 introduces few things of a lesser scope as well as cleaning up some issues that surfaced with the Leagues introduction.
Now let’s get to the update itself.
Punisher and Molot windup mechanic
Indeed, this is an autocannon buff: After shooting continuously for 3 seconds fire rate increases by half
New numbers, same effect: Automatic weapons shoot less bullets for more damage to reduce CPU load. Overall DPS and discharging time remain the same
Developer commentary: For quite some time our automatic weapons didn’t have a proper niche. They seemed cool in action, but didn’t work as good as they looked. Autocannons aren’t best at any distance, they neither deal splash damage nor cut through any sort of defence. Molots and Punishers along with their medium versions work alright as beginner level guns, but once you outgrow your first silver robots there is usually no reason to keep chainguns on you rather than opting for something more… substantial.
We started to look for the new Molot/Punisher identity in what they do best — basically, firing non-stop. It is not a very useful feat in itself, but it made a good reference point for what we’ve done.
In short, if you now pick chainguns, you go for sustained damage. We emphasized that by adding the mechanic that rewards you for holding your fire on a target by increasing your DPS the longer you fire.
Worth noting that the change makes your machine guns go out of ammo significantly faster. Before the update a single Punisher could fire for 22 seconds without interruptions — now it takes about 14 seconds to fully unload the clip. But the thing is, you don’t usually get situations where you can maintain an eye contact with your target for 22 seconds straight before getting blown up. So it does make sense to cut that time almost in half to give machine-gunners their chance in a serious knife fight.
Be sure to try updated Molots and Punishers out and tell us how it felt! But keep in mind, this is surely not their last stop. We plan to continue iterating on kinetic weapons until they find their role in the game which is not just “your typical lousy newbie cannon”.
What about the second part of the change? It is much more prosaic than you could imagine. Machine guns shooting 50% faster tend to dip the frame rate on slower devices due to the amount of objects turning up on the screen. Fixing this required some low-level optimization, and hence, quite some time to get to. For now we decided to offset this by reducing the amount of projectiles per second while increasing the damage of a single bullet. In a usual machine gun usage scenario single bullet damage doesn’t matter as much as damage per second. The latter stays the same as before, so you shouldn’t notice much difference. Except better performance, of course.
Making things consistent(er): Ancile progression curve is slightly tweaked to match the universal formula
Developer commentary: At some level-ups Ancile used to receive less stats than at other ones. We made the progression curve smoother for the sake of consistency. Level 12 Ancile numbers stay unchanged, on other levels there’s either a plus or a minus 1000 HP. The regeneration rate and activation threshold scale proportionally to HP.
And we also fixed Ancile description to match its actual stats. So there we go!
Shenzhen, Yamantau and Springfield rebalance
Balance is king: respawn patterns on Yamantau and Shenzhen are adjusted to equalize starting conditions for both teams
Farm vs. Factory: removed 2 out of 4 spawn patterns on Springfield, one is slightly adjusted
Simple geometry: shifted the placement of beacons A and D on Yamantau; bridge provides more cover now
Developer commentary: Springfield, Yamantau and Shenzhen are definitely not most liked of all maps. A certain part of their problems comes from the fact that they were greatly imbalanced and one team was always at a significant disadvantage. Now we are addressing this issue, starting from small elements. In some cases (like Shenzhen) changing the placement of starting points happened to be enough, some (Yamantau) required fiddling with map geometry as well.
Map balance is an interesting topic in itself, so we’re preparing a long-form article detailing what we’ve done and our way of thinking when introducing changes. If you’d like to go for a deeper dive, stay tuned!
Environmental sounds overhaul
Headphone use is advised: New ambient sounds are added to all maps
Developer commentary: Not much to say here, environments should sound better now. If you keep playing with audio turned off, that’s fine: gameplay-wise you won’t miss much. It’s just a little touch to War Robots’ atmosphere.
Changes to Activity Points
Systems need to rest too: Activity Points counter updates weekly every Monday (the change will take effect in 10-14 days)
Developer commentary: Activity points used to put a significant load on our profile servers. They became less relevant as a clan performance metric with the introduction of leagues, so we decided to finally lessen server’s burden by reducing AP refresh rate. Personal activity points in clan members list, however, are still updated in real time, so officers should still be able to detect those slacking.
Keep in mind that it is only a temporary solution until we come up with a better clan ranking system.
New skins: Dark Knight Gareth and Oathbreaker Galahad
- Fixed a bug causing a certain building on Shenzhen to turn invisible
- Zenit recharge animation now goes in sync with recharging
- Raijins shouldn’t be able climb invisible mountains on Springfield anymore (apologies to all spider-people)
- Spirals damage at level 3 has returned to normal
- Numerous minor fixes
Join the War Robots subreddit for an in-depth discussion on the update.